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2016-12-28 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文



一,引言 I. Introduction

Euphemism refers to strategies or courtesy, use a mild, pleasant, do not harm the language to express disgusting, sad or not direct that the fact that such a rhetorical device. Euphemism is not only a very important language phenomenon, but also a kind of social phemomenon which can not be ignored. Engels thought that the language is to adapt to the communication of urgent need and of generation, it once became the most important, the highest level of communication tools. Language is the fundamental properties, and social attribute of social attributes and are mainly embodied in the communicative functions. Euphemism is language realize and its communicative functions is a kind of important means and necessary avenue, so the euphemism research in language study should be an important position. In this paper, its social communication role of English euphemism made a approach and compared. Euphemism is the world's various peoples who have the phenomenon of language units and language, is that people in social interaction and communication to seek a satisfactory result and create appropriate language forms. Euphemism is a popular departure from the conventional use of language, which is essentially a euphemism Variation languages, language change is a potential mechanism. Euphemism's important ceremony will feature, it can maintain the facilities to make language taboos and effectiveness; In addition, it can be used to maintain good interpersonal relationships, and promote the normal language of communication. This paper will pay special attention to the study of Euphemism and its Function in Social Communication 。

二、措辞 II. Euphemism

What is a euphemism? "When people do not want to say the name of taboo objects or actions, and must specify this name when the object or action to replace words with sounds, using metaphors to suggest, to prompt the use of the expression of twists and turns. These pleasant, alternative terms or implied, is euphemism.In this part, we will discuss the definition and essencial reasons by some examples.

2.1 The Definition of Euphemism

The word euphemism comes from the Greek word euphemism, meaning"auspicious/good/fortunate speech" which in turn is derived from the Greek root-words eu, "good/well" +pheme "speech/speaking". Functionally speaking, an euphemism is an expression intended by the speaker to be less offensive, disturbing, or troubling to the listener than the word or phrase it replaces, or in the case of doublespeak to make it less troublesome for the speaker. What distinguishes doublespeak from other euphemisms is its deliberate usage by governmental, military, or corporate institutions.

In some sense, appropriate and accurate use of euphemism, not only reflected a person's level of education and literacy, and interpersonal interaction can become more smooth and harmonious. Everyday life, discourse is mildly expressed an indispensable communication, the speaker said to each other courtesy and respect to ensure the accurate communication to, and often use the euphemism. Ask for or need other help, common excuse me, please, etc. to represent the request. Excuse me, can you tell me the way to the book store? Will you please show me the book? Advice or a solicitation of consent of the other, they often use would or won't you? The words. Would you mind making so much noise? Come to my house tomorrow, won't you? On leave, with I'm afraid ... or I think ... so relaxed tone, to show courtesy. I'm afraid I must say good-bye. I think I must be going now. With the continuous improvement of social civilization, modern people more aware of their behaviors, commonly used in daily life euphemisms conceal ashamed The very ugly fact that the functions of communication and etiquette, to avoid the embarrassment of communication and abruptness, with a euphemism to express the physiological behavior of people denied widespread. People to avoid direct that toilet, in English, there are many euphemisms on the toilet. power room, toilet, restroom, convenience, men or men's, women / ladies or women's / ladies'. Also, people go to the bathroom toilet also tactfully expressed. Anglo-American people often say to wash one's hand, to power one's nose, to go somewhere, to answer the call of nature and so on. No matter what culture, people are looking forward to peace, health, good luck, but hard to avoid illness and death, disability, crime, the unfortunate occurrence. In response, people will feel depressed, sad, taboo. Euphemism is conducive to regulating the expression of people's psychological state, relaxed atmosphere. Death in a range of Euphemisms: The old man died. Sentence to say about as: The old man has gone to the heaven; The old man has gone to a better world; The old man has gone to another world ;Psychological adjustment function:The old man paid his debt to nature ; The old man went out of the world . Disease, disaster, have a corresponding Euphemisms: a venereal disease (, can be described as a social disease. Cancer, can be said to terminal illness. acne can be described as problem skin.

In the education of students, teachers sometimes use euphemisms instead of the positive and negative evaluation, so students can maximize the protection of self-esteem, so that students maintain a good learning attitude. Compare: He lies. He has difficulty distinguishing between imaginary and factual information. He cheats. He needs help in learning to adhere to rules and standards of fair play. The student is obtuse. The student can do better with help.

In some social form, the large gap between rich and poor, the work of distinction or divided, sometimes with the semantic euphemism rose to achieve psychological balance, reduce the level distance. Such as: sanitary engineers, sanitation engineer that garbage cleaner, garbage collector; with barber beautician that the use of euphemism can make human language twists and turns witty, fun, witty humor, mildly in the view in frank, modest in see fortitude with irony.

2.2 The Reason of Euphemism's Development

Euphemism evolved from taboo. On the early stage of civilization, the level of productivity is very low, and the society backward in science and culture. People believe that the language is the same as language things, it has an extraordinary power and it is the roots of all of happiness and misfortune. In order to insure a safe and happy life, people are aware of putting taboo into practice. For example: Chinese feudal dynasty emperor's name is a taboo, courtiers and common people are prohibited the use of emperor's name directly. Anglo-American and other Western countries avoid number 13. According to "Bible," recorded in the "Last Supper", Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is the 13th people on the table. Therefore, the number 13 is a major culprit. As a result, there are no 13 room hotel, dinner to avoid the 13, the construction of buildings 13 stories and so on. There is a saying in English: the need is the mother of invention. Euphemism is inseparable from the human production of its needs. American scholars DTE nright said: "If there is no euphemism, the functioning of the world to stop because of friction, earth will be filled with hatred."

三、委婉语的功能在社会交往的分析 III. Euphemism's Function in Social Communication

Euphemism is the language areas, language is a social phenomenon. The contradictions in daily life by the hard-edged or misnomer caused. Social needs subtle beauty. In the communication process, in order to express politeness, avoid stimulating or get together, we always use the euphemism. Euphemism used properly communicative activities in the community can play a multiplier role. Either English or Chinese, Euphemism is consistent with the communicative function, there are taboo, to avoid customs, manners, cover, and appraise and other functions. These features are embodied in the communication strategy and the effect of an acceptable, identity and appropriateness and so on. Here the social function of euphemism to make a brief introduction:

3.1 Beneficial Effect

There are three ways in using euphemism: First, avoid stimulating and give comfort. Second, remove vulgar and give elegant. Third, discard the old, gives a novel. Communication in many occasions, euphemisms can talk in person or talked to the audience to avoid embarrassment, feelings of embarrassment or hurt each other, so communication and harmonious relations between the parties, communication smoothly. This result reflects the euphemism in the beneficial effect of social communication.

3.1.1 Avoidance Function

The emergence of euphemisms has a close relation with the language taboos. Taboos exist in almost all cultures. Their appearance more or lesser flecks the common psychology of human beings: the awe and veneration to the gods, ghosts and monsters; the avoidance of the unpropitious things. The replacement of taboos is the specific expression of the avoidance function. "Death" is the most commonly seen word that people want to avoid. As a matter of fact, life is self-defined, entailing both a beginning and an end, i.e. birth and death. However, most people think death is the biggest misfortune in their lives. Whenever speaking of it, people always feel painful and distressing to think about. In the English language, people express the same meaning in various ways. One of the most well-known examples is from Engels' remarks. When referring to Marx's death, he wrote: "He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep-but for ever." We feel that here "gone to sleep-but for ever" is certainly more expressive and appropriate than the blunt and harsh "dead". And to different people, there are corresponding euphemisms for death. If a friend or a relative dies, people may say "go to a better world, go to heaven, or pass away", etc; if a soldier dies in the battle, people will say "answer the last muster"; and to speak of the death of the saint, people use "safe in the arms of Jesus" or "be with God". of course, this list is not at all complete. As for the less common ones, there are such expressions as Shakespeare's "to shuffle off this mortal coil" and "to end it all", and Mark Twain's "release" in his The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Besides death, there are a number of other notions often expressed in euphemistic terms. These might be grouped under several categories, such as disease, certain functions of the body, etc. Euphemisms here can abate the terror and unpleasantness these notions provoke though they are but inevitable and natural. For example, cancer is called "the big C" or "long illness"; AIDS is called "social disease"; Cork, standing for "God only really knows" is a "vegetable" patient, whose coma bewilders the doctor. Euphemisms for certain functions of the body deserve special mentioning here, mainly because ignorance of them may cause considerable embarrassment. English has a variety of terms in this category, such as "go to the men's/ladies' room, rest room, wash room; wash one's hands ;to relieve oneself; to freshen up; to make number one/two; or because nature calls", etc. Also, in any culture there are certain notions or things strongly forbidden by social customs such taboos as "God damned!" "Bloody!" are usually replaced by "Blow it!" "Darn (it)!" or "Confound it!" And "the devil" is often replaced by "the Dickens", "Old Poker", or "Old Hardy". "Hell" is replaced by "heck", "the other place". Besides, in Western countries, people usually avoid referring to religious words or the name of God for they fear supernatural forces. Thus people say "goodness", "goodness gracious" instead of "God". And "My Gum" is the euphemism of "My God".

3.1.2 Politeness Function

With the development of social economy, people spontaneously pursue the language civilization to show that they are civilized and cultivated. So when people have to refer to something unpleasant, they prefer to employ some mild, implicit and euphemistic expressions. In such cases, the practice of euphemism shows its politeness function. Here, the key point of politeness function is to respect others, to express something politely, so as to keep people from being hurt and make them accept those things pleasantly. In communication with others, euphemisms can help people form a positive communication atmosphere and establish harmonious social relationship and eventually obtain the communication goals. "Old" is a very sensitive word to many people in the English- speaking countries, because "old" gives people an impression that someone is useless to society. So usually, we use "senior citizens" or "superior citizens" to refer to the old people. And "feel one's age" is used to mean "get old". Besides, the word "poor" also has many euphemisms. "During the last twenty years or so, several other words have been trying to take its place, at least among educated and in ‘officials'. As some unfortunate person put it: ‘at first I was poor, then I became needy, later I was underprivileged. Now I'm disadvantaged. I still don't have a cent to my name, but I sure have a great vocabulary.'"(Deng Yan Chang &Liu Run qing, 80)Among them, the words "poor, needy, underprivileged, disadvantaged" all have the same meaning in essence, but more euphemistic than the former one. In education, euphemisms are likewise prolific. Some people prefer educator to teacher. Students are still students, but comments about them need to be carefully considered. ‘Negative expressions' have given way to ‘more positive' ones."(Deng Yan Chang &Liu Run qing, 80)The comment for a below-average student might be that he/she is working at his/her own level, which doesn't hurt anyone's pride. "Can do better work with help" doesn't sound bad either; it's just a less offensive way of saying a student is slow or stupid. And if a student cheats in class, the teacher would rather say "He depends on others to do his work".

3.2 Adverse Effect

Euphemism is not the roles of social communication are reflected in its favorable aspects. When euphemisms are not properly used, it was like a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing, as people can not see things about the inherent nature of being the ugly hidden in a beautiful, covered up the truth. Adverse effects of euphemism in the following two aspects.

3.2.1 Disguise Function

Since euphemisms often express something in an implicit and roundabout way, sometimes this may cause ambiguity and people may feel confused about them. So, politicians, statesmen and businessmen always make full use of this feature to mask the reality, exonerate their guilt and raise high the quality of their goods, thus making euphemisms have the disguise function. The primary feature of euphemism here is to numb the public without telling a downright lie yet to get an almost equally desirable response. Therefore, "industrial climate" means "dispute between employer and employee". And an economic crisis is another subject for euphemism. The prewar word "slump" was soon replaced by "depression", then by the word "recession". Now "recession" is replaced by "downturn". Besides, war is a fertile time for language. Governments need euphemisms to persuade people to put up with the sufferings of war. Therefore, attack is active defense; the aggressive action is pre-emptive action; surprise attacks against enemies are now termed pre-emptive strikes. To retreat is to retire to prepared positions or to break off contact with enemy. To take out a city is to blast it to destruction. To conclude, euphemisms are widely used by human beings in the communication. They are products of social language and also embodiments of culture. "Euphemisms are to the tongue what Novocain is to the gums." No doubt, the urge to speak euphemistically is a universal trait, but varying in scope and motive with different circumstances. Euphemism, as a sociolinguistic phenomenon, as well as a figure of speech, really well performs some social functions. They contribute a lot to the social communication of human beings. And it will surely take on a new look with the development of society.

3.2.2 Deceptive Function

Commercial activities is to produce another piece of euphemism fertile soil. Such vague euphemisms, there is considerable deceptive. Many businesses will often help to beautify your euphemism of goods to attract consumer interest and inspire their desire to purchase in order to enable them to profit. For example, some airlines to meet passenger's vanity and self-esteem and change the title of the cabin. "First Class" was renamed as the "Deluxe Class"; "Second Class " was renamed as "Business Class";"Third Class"has been renamed as" Business Class or Economic Class. " The skin cream as a skin food; to second-hand furniture as the antiques; the cheap is said to economy and budget.


IV. Euphemism Caused by Communication Short-circuit Phenomenon and the Reasons

Linguistic philosopher Grice that the United States, people are always co-verbal communication, the conversation the two sides have a common desire that words can both understand each other, common, and this is his "cooperation principle." He will this principle into four criteria: (1) the amount of criteria: the words required for the purpose should include talking to the information should not exceed the required information includes; (2) the quality of the guidelines: Do not say knew to be false If the words or the lack of sufficient evidence; (3) norms: the words have relevance; (4) mode criteria: the words be clearly understood to avoid obscurity and ambiguity, be concise, well-organized. To ensure the smooth progress of the session, talking both parties must abide by some basic principles. However, verbal communication in a particular environment, the speaker often deliberately violated the principle of cooperation to achieve a certain purpose and effect. When using the euphemism, people tend to violate these guidelines, deliberate use of some uncertainty, the vague term, so as to achieve the purpose of the speaker. This euphemism in people's verbal communication can sometimes lead to short-circuit communication phenomenon that is both communicative communication euphemism used in the sense of understanding does not resonate. In the communication process, because the speaker in order not to hurt the feelings of the hearer, self-esteem, often intentionally violate the principle of cooperation. If communication with involved parties euphemism topic knowledge, communication can be smooth. If you obey the lack of knowledge of euphemism, there will be communication short circuit, the two sides of communication can not proceed normally. For example, if a female tourists would like to inquire about a man and guides the location of toilets, it is polite to deliberately violate the principle of cooperation euphemism for the use of the expression of the toilet, do not know if the guides to wash one's hands on the toilet euphemism He would make a rush of tourists to the toilet in an awkward position. If the communication party does not have some euphemism for death, it is difficult to understand his or her go to a better place (die) in She has gone to a better place one of significance. If the communicators do not understand meat cutter or meat technologist's Wan said the butcher is a butcher, also make communication difficult to carry out normal communication.

In addition, lack of communication context can lead to communication short circuit. Context refers to the process of verbal communication in the context of discourse or the language environment supposing. If the words in the context where the lack of use of euphemism, the hearer may be misunderstood. For example, when a speaker without any context of the case, said: She lost her husband, the hearer may be understood as "she left her husband.", The hearer may be interpreted as "She lost her husband. "because the literal meaning of lose" leave ", the euphemism meaning is" lost. " Another example, in We may go some day in the future one. The word go has two meanings, one is literally "to go"; the other is the euphemism meaning "death."

结论 V. Conclusion

Euphemisms are widely used by human beings in the communication. They are products of social language and also embodiments of culture. "Euphemisms are to the tongue what Novocain is to the gums." No doubt, the urge to speak euphemistically is a universal trait, but varying in scope and motive with different circumstances. Euphemism, as a sociolinguistic phenomenon, as well as a figure of speech, really well performs some social functions. They contribute a lot to the social communication of human beings. And it will surely take on a new look with the development of society. it is as old as civilization and has long been used as the means of communication. In communication with others, euphemisms can help people form a positive communicative atmosphere to establish harmonious social relationships and eventually to achieve the communication goals. With the development of modern society, it has become an indispensable element in people's interaction. Euphemism, as a polite way to express something that is embarrassing or unpleasant, originates from taboo. From the moment of its occurrence, euphemism serves to avoid taboos, to show politeness and conceal feelings.


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